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                 Phonics at Chartham




At Chartham Primary School we teach phonics through a validated, systematic and synthetic phonics programme so that all our children become fluent readers and writers. We are determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities.






We use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan and provide daily phonics lessons. The children are taught that the letters of the alphabet represent  different sounds, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing. Our phonics teaching follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific strategies as they move through school. As a result, the children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. At Chartham School we also model these strategies in shared reading and writing both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on the development of language skills for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.​​​​​​


Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Reading Leader who drives the early reading programme in our school. This person is highly skilled at teaching phonics and reading, and they monitor and support our reading team, so everyone teaches with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.




How we teach phonics

  • In Reception, Y1 and part of Y2, children follow the progression within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme and are taught daily.
  • At the end of each week there is a review session which recaps learning. There are also whole review weeks (pre-planned and bespoke to address gaps identified by the class teacher’s ongoing formative assessment).
  • Phonics starts in Reception in Term 1 to ensure that the children make a strong start and by the end of Reception, they will have been taught up to the end of Phase 4.
  • By the end of Year 1, children will have been taught up to the end of Phase 5.
  • Reception lessons start at 10 minutes, with daily additional oral blending – increasing to 20 to 30 minutes as soon as possible.
  • Y1 lessons are approximately 30 minutes long.



How do we assess phonic knowledge in Reception and Year 1?

  • Class teachers continually assess as each session progresses, review lessons add detail to this.
  • Children identified as being in danger of falling behind are supported with ‘Keep Up’ sessions following the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.
  • The children are individually assessed at the end of every half term and progress is tracked.
  • The children in Y1 sit the statutory Phonics Screening Check in the Summer Term.
  • Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Y1, will be taught and supported further before re-sitting this in Y2.


If you would like more information about how to support your child with phonics at home, please follow this link to find the Reception and Year 1 overview as well as videos of the sound pronunciations, letter formation sheets and other helpful resources.






Some more useful websites for practising phonics with your child:

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